The Art of Travel

The Art of Travel

Book - 2014
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"Few activities seem to promise us as much happiness as going travelling: taking off for somewhere else, somewhere far from home, a place with more interesting weather, customs and landscapes. But although we are inundated with advice on where to travel to, we seldom ask why we go and how we might become more fulfilled by doing so. With the help of a selection of writers, artists and thinkers - including Flaubert, Edward Hopper, Wordsworth and Van Gogh - Alain de Botton's bestselling The Art of Travel provides invaluable insights into everything from holiday romance to hotel mini-bars, airports to sight-seeing. The antidote to those guides that tell us what to do when we get there, it tries to explain why we really went in the first place - and helpfully suggests how we might be happier on our journeys."--
Publisher: London : Penguin Books, 2014.
Copyright Date: ©2002
ISBN: 9780241970065
Branch Call Number: 910.01 DEBOT
Characteristics: 261 pages : illustrations ; 20 cm


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Oct 04, 2018

Good, not great writing. Some of the chapters (which seem unrelated) are about travel, others not oo much. The author can't compare to a public intellectual like Rebecca Solnit. And the subject is very UK-centred.

LPL_TriciaK Jan 24, 2017

If you like to travel, or read about traveling, try this! The author has a wry sense of humor which I enjoyed, but the real benefit of this book is that he offers you the opportunity to reexamine your thinking about travel. E.g. in the chapter "Anticipation" de Botton examines how we create high expectations for our trips (Look at that perfect beach! My cabin will have a gorgeous view! I'll be so relaxed and mellow!) , but our natural personalities - our worries, our habits, our anxieties - always shape the reality to contrast with that initial expectation of perfection. He expresses this humorously as he recounts his trip to Barbados: “A momentous but until then overlooked fact was making itself apparent: I had inadvertently brought myself with me to the island.” The chapter "City and Country" includes an account of his trip to the Lake District in England, where he draws upon Woodsworth's poetry about nature in an exploration of the restorative value of open spaces. Other excursions - to Madrid, Amsterdam, Provence - entitled respectively "Curiosity", "Exotic Places", and "The Sublime", similarly pair the place with an artist or writer's perspective on that topic, which takes the book beyond a mere travelogue. It's short - and it has photographs! - so it's a fairly quick read.

Jan 10, 2009

This is wonderful book, with flowing prose and lots of insights about why we travel. The author combines his own experiences with the experiences of famous literary authors to explore various destinations. Highly recommended

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